Dean Edward Cheves (Courtesy of Alexandria Sheriff's Office via PNA)

(TRIGGER WARNING: This story has potentially upsetting content. Readers should exercise caution.)

A former United States Department of State (USDS) employee has pleaded guilty to engaging in illicit sexual relations with a minor while assigned at the US Embassy here for four years.

Dean Edward Cheves, 63, admitted his guilt to the charges, according to a statement quoting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. of the US Justice Department’s Criminal Division and lawyer Jessica Aber of the Eastern District of Virginia.

“Cheves is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 20, 2023 and faces a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in prison on each count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors,” the press statement read.

Cheves was serving at the US Embassy in Manila from 2017 to 2021 when he interacted with minors online.

From December 2020 to March 2021, Cheves communicated online with a then 15 or 16-year-old Filipino, whom he paid to send him explicit images.

In February 2021, Cheves also had sex on two occasions with a another 16-year-old and used his government-issued mobile phone to film at least one of the illicit acts.

The child sex abuse video materials were found on devices seized from Cheves’ residence in the Philippines.

“Cheves knew the ages of both minors at the time he engaged in the conduct,” the statement added.

The US Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service Office of Special Investigations investigated the case with assistance provided by its Regional Security Office, Homeland Security Investigations Attaché’s Office in the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police. (PNA)